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Crouse Health in Syracuse supports families struggling with PMADs

Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders affect one in five women. PMAD is the No. 1 complication of pregnancy and is associated with deleterious effects on the mother, infant, family and society. Untreated postpartum depression can develop into chronic major depressive disorder or postpartum psychosis. In 2015, Crouse Health created its Family Support Program to assist all families in the community, including those who have newborns in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, which serves as the state-designated regional center for the care of more than 1,000 premature and critically ill infants annually.

The barrier-free program offers one-on-one support using psychoeducation and cognitive behavioral therapy, navigation, integrative medicine and diversional therapies. The program hosts weekly peer support groups for the NICU families, which includes education specific to NICU families and community peer support groups during day and evening hours for any family, regardless of where the mother delivers her baby.

Recently, Crouse partnered with the YMCA, giving each family an eight-week membership and free child care while using the facilities. In addition, a four-week series called Express Yourself is held at the Jamesville-Dewitt Community Library. This healing therapy uses diversional therapy techniques, allowing families to express themselves through the arts, socialize and focus on positivity. Crouse is currently organizing PMAD provider training for seven hospitals in the region to support replication of the Family Support Program in other counties.

Crouse Health’s Family Support Program has served more than 300 families from multiple counties within the facility’s regional catchment area.

For more information, contact Bob Allen, vice president, communications and government affairs, Crouse Health, at (315) 470-7582 or at boballen@crouse.org.